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CLICK HERE FOR MORE MATERIAL ON DR. MACARTHUR AND THE BLOOD


THE DAY OF ATONEMENT -
AND CHRIST'S ETERNAL BLOOD

by Dr. R. L. Hymers, Jr.

A sermon preached on Lord's Day Morning, August 14, 2005
at the Baptist Tabernacle of Los Angeles

"For the life of the flesh is in the blood: and I have given it to you upon the altar to make an atonement for your souls: for it is the blood that maketh an atonement for the soul" (Leviticus 17:11).


On the tenth day of the seventh month of the Hebrew calendar, which falls on October 13 this year, God told His people to celebrate Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, yom ha-kippurim. Kippurim comes from the Hebrew word kaphar, which means "to cover." The sins of the people were "covered" figuratively, prophetic of the cleansing Christ would later give by the Blood He shed on the Cross of Calvary.

On the Day of Atonement the high priest took two goats. One goat was killed. The high priest put his hands on the second goat, confessed the people's sins, and then turned that goat loose into the wilderness. The blood of the first goat was then taken by the high priest into the Most Holy place of the tabernacle. He went in alone and sprinkled the blood on the mercy seat, the top of the box of the Ark of the Covenant - which brings us to our text:

"For the life of the flesh is in the blood: and I have given it to you upon the altar to make an atonement for your souls: for it is the blood that maketh an atonement for the soul" (Leviticus 17:11).

Three main things happened on the Day of Atonement. All three of them are pictures, types, of what our Lord Jesus Christ would do to save His people from their sins.

I. First, the goat that was killed pictures Christ dying for our sins.

The Bible says,

"Christ died for our sins" (I Corinthians 15:3).

"But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us" (Romans 5:8).

Our text pictured that when it said,

"For the life of the flesh is in the blood…" (Leviticus 17:11).

When that goat shed its blood it gave up its life. This was a picture of Christ giving up his life on the Cross to save His people from the penalty of sin. No one ever portrayed the suffering and death of Christ for sinners more clearly than the prophet Isaiah.

"Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all" (Isaiah 53:4-6).

We must never forget what Jesus did to pay the penalty for our sins. We must never forget the horrible agony He went through in the Garden of Gethsemane, the night He was arrested. Nor should we forget the scourging under Pilate's whip, by which He was flogged to the point of near death. And we must constantly remind ourselves of those nails, driven through His hands and feet.

Bearing shame and scoffing rude, In my place condemned He stood;
Sealed my pardon with His blood! Hallelujah! What a Saviour!
   ("Hallelujah, What a Saviour" by Philip P. Bliss, 1838-1876).

Calvary's mournful mountain climb; There adoring at His feet;
Mark the miracle of time, God's own sacrifice complete.
   ("Go to Dark Gethsemane" by James Montgomery, 1771-1854).

All of the suffering, the pain, and the death that Christ experienced was foretold, pictured, typified by the goat that was slain on the Day of Atonement.

II. Second, the sending away of the other goat pictures Christ in the grave.

The picture of Christ's suffering and death does not end with the death of the first goat. Listen to what the Word of God said. Stand and read Leviticus 16:21 and 22 aloud.

"And Aaron shall lay both his hands upon the head of the live goat, and confess over him all the iniquities of the children of Israel, and all their transgressions in all their sins, putting them upon the head of the goat, and shall send him away by the hand of a fit man into the wilderness: And the goat shall bear upon him all their iniquities unto a land not inhabited: and he shall let go the goat in the wilderness" (Leviticus 16:21-22).

You may be seated.

Little mention is made of the burial of Christ in most preaching today. And yet the burial of Christ's Body is of great importance. It is given by the Apostle Paul as the second point of the Gospel:

"And that he was buried" (I Corinthians 15:4).

The Bible also says,

"We are buried with him" (Romans 6:4).

And again, God's people are

"Buried with him" (Colossians 2:12).

Dr. Lewis Sperry Chafer said,

Too little emphasis has been given to this subject [of Christ's burial] by theologians…the burial of Christ is foreshadowed by the "scapegoat" [the goat turned loose in the wilderness]. This type is full and clear. Two goats were required on the Day of Atonement to represent typically that which Christ wrought. One goat was slain and its blood was sprinkled as a purification and cleansing. To the second goat [let loose in the wilderness] was transmitted the sins of the people and that goat was led away into the wilderness to be seen no more. Christ provided His blood which is efficacious for cleansing and judgment of sin, but also He took away sin (Lewis Sperry Chafer, D.D., Litt.D., Systematic Theology, Dallas Seminary Press, 1948, volume VII, page 64).

Jesus takes away sin!

"Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world" (John 1:29).

As J. Wilbur Chapman put it,

Living, He loved me, dying, He saved me;
Buried, He carried my sins far away;
Rising, He justified freely forever;
One day He's coming, Oh, glorious day!
   ("One Day!" by J. Wilbur Chapman, 1859-1918).

When you come to Christ, your sins are taken away, as pictured by the goat let loose in the wilderness, bearing the sins of the people! And you are

"buried with him" (Romans 6:4).

"As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us" (Psalm 103:12).

III. Third, the blood on the mercy seat pictures
the Blood of Christ in Heaven.

The blood of the first goat, that was slain, was brought into the Holy of Holies, the most holy place in the Tabernacle. No one was ever allowed into this holy place except the high priest. And he was only allowed to go in once a year on Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement.

The high priest went into that holy place in the tabernacle all alone. There he sprinkled the blood of the slain goat on the mercy seat, the top of the box-like structure called the Ark of the Covenant. Dr. M. R. DeHaan said,

This ark consisted of an oblong box made of acacia wood and covered with beaten gold. In this ark reposed the law [the Ten Commandments] which had been broken by Israel when Moses was upon the Mount. The broken law demanded the eternal damnation of Israel, but God had made a provision…Once a year on the Day of Atonement, the high priest took the blood of animal sacrifice, God's provision, from the Altar of Burnt Offering and sprinkled it on the Mercy Seat. The broken law was then covered by the blood of sacrifice. God was appeased; and atonement was made. His justice was satisfied. His mercy could flow out unhindered to His erring people. To look upon the broken law without blood is to face wrath. God said, "When I see the blood, I will pass over you." To remove the blood from God's righteous judgment is to invite certain destruction (M. R. DeHaan, M.D., The Chemistry of the Blood, Zondervan, 1981 reprint, page 52).

And this takes us back to our text. Please stand and read it aloud, Leviticus 17:11.

"For the life of the flesh is in the blood: and I have given it to you upon the altar to make an atonement for your souls: for it is the blood that maketh an atonement for the soul" (Leviticus 17:11).

"For it is the blood that maketh an atonement for the soul." You may be seated.

Dr. MacArthur equates the Blood of Christ with His death. He calls the Blood a metonym [synonym] for the death - another word meaning the same thing. R. B. Thieme says that the Blood of Christ is "symbolic of His spiritual death." No! No! We must not have any of that! The Blood is not just another word for his death. The Blood is not just "symbolic of His spiritual death." The Blood is separate from the death and the Blood is not a "symbol." The Blood of Christ is real Blood! We must not preach the ideas of Thieme and MacArthur,

"For it is the blood that maketh an atonement for the soul" (Leviticus 17:11).

If the high priest had brought in the dead body of that goat, and put the dead body of the animal on the mercy seat, there would have been no atonement! It is the blood, and the blood alone, of which our text speaks!

"I have given it to you upon the altar."

Given what on the altar? The blood!

"I have given it upon the altar"

for what?

"To make an atonement for your souls,"

that's what!

"For it is the blood that maketh an atonement for the soul" (Leviticus 17:11).

Away with the bloodless gospel of Thieme and MacArthur! I want nothing to do with it!

"For it is the blood that maketh an atonement for the soul" (Leviticus 17:11).

"But Christ being come an high priest of good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this building; Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us"
     (Hebrews 9:11-12).

Listen to Dr. J. Vernon McGee, the most widely known and widely heard Bible teacher of all time. Dr. McGee said,

I believe this verse [Hebrews 9:12] proves that Christ took His literal blood to heaven …The blood of bulls and goats has never been shed in heaven - there is no denying that that would be crude. However, the blood of Christ, we believe, is in heaven and that is not crude at all. The tabernacle on earth was just a figure - the reality is in heaven. "Now to appear in the presence of God for us" means before the very face of God. Christ has not entered into a man-made sanctuary. It is spiritual but real. He died on earth to save us. He lives in Heaven to keep us saved. He is there for us (J. Vernon McGee, Th.D., Thru the Bible, Thomas Nelson, 1983, vol. V, pp. 566, 569).

"For it is the blood that maketh an atonement for the soul" (Leviticus 17:11).

Dr. W. A. Criswell, speaking of our text in Leviticus 17:11, said, "This verse is one of the key verses of Leviticus as well as the Bible. It is part of that scarlet thread that runs through the whole of sacred Scripture. The principle of blood atonement is God's divinely ordained remedy for the problem of sin" (W. A. Criswell, Ph.D., The Criswell Study Bible, Thomas Nelson, 1979, note on Leviticus 17:11).

That is what the Bible teaches about the Day of Atonement and the Blood of Jesus Christ.

"I have given it to you upon the altar to make an atonement for your souls: for it is the blood that maketh an atonement for the soul" (Leviticus 17:11).

Clearly and plainly, then, you must come to Jesus by faith. When you come to Him, His Blood is available right now to cleanse you from sin, and "make an atonement for your souls: for it is the blood that maketh an atonement for the soul."

"The blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth [present, active, indicative] us from all sin" (I John 1:7).

"Cleanseth" is in the "present" tense to show that Christ's Blood is still available to cleanse you!  The "active" shows that it is still acting to cleanse sinners.  The "indicative" mood shows that this cleansing is ongoing.  It never ends.  Present tense - it still cleanses.  Active voice - it is still acting, still cleansing.  Indicative mood - that cleansing is an ongoing phenomenon. It never ends.  Present tense.  Active voice.  Indicative mood.  The very verb "cleanseth" makes it impossible for the Blood to have perished!  The Blood is still present and it is still active!  Come to Christ! Be washed clean from every sin by His eternal Blood! Let us stand and sing "There Is a Fountain." Let me hear you sing it!

There is a fountain filled with blood, Drawn from Emmanuel's veins,
And sinners plunged beneath that flood, Lose all their guilty stains,
Lose all their guilty stains, Lose all their guilty stains,
And sinners plunged beneath that flood, Lose all their guilty stains.
   ("There Is a Fountain" by William Cowper, 1731-1800).

"For the life of the flesh is in the blood: and I have given it to you upon the altar to make an atonement for your souls: for it is the blood that maketh an atonement for the soul" (Leviticus 17:11).

(END OF SERMON)

CLICK HERE FOR MORE MATERIAL ON DR. MACARTHUR AND THE BLOOD

You can read Dr. Hymers' sermons each week on the Internet
at www.rlhymersjr.com. Click on "Sermon Manuscripts."


Scripture Read Before the Sermon by Dr. Kreighton L. Chan: Leviticus 16:15-22.
Solo Sung Before the Sermon by Mr. Benjamin Kincaid Griffith:
"Saved by the Blood" (by S. J. Henderson, 19th century).


THE OUTLINE OF

THE DAY OF ATONEMENT -
AND CHRIST'S ETERNAL BLOOD

by Dr. R. L. Hymers, Jr.


"For the life of the flesh is in the blood: and I have given it to you upon the altar to make an atonement for your souls: for it is the blood that maketh an atonement for the soul" (Leviticus 17:11).

I.   The goat that was killed pictures Christ dying for our sins,
I Corinthians 15:3; Romans 5:8; Isaiah 53:4-6.

II.  The sending away of the other goat pictures Christ in the grave,
Leviticus 16:21-22; I Corinthians 15:4; Romans 6:4; Colossians 2:12;
John 1:29; Psalm 103:12.

III. The blood on the mercy seat pictures the Blood of Christ in Heaven,
Leviticus 17:11; Hebrews 9:11-12; I John 1:7.